A banarasi with all its richness and opulence is always coveted by all saree lovers, as there’s a wide & varied range of banarasi weaves, the choice to pick one becomes difficult. Inevitably we land up buying more and more, and sometimes in ignorance, we accumulate a treasure. In today’s time when cheap imitations are available all around, power loom being sold in the name of handloom, mixed fabric being passed off as pure, tested zari being called real zari and so on. It then becomes imperative to make an informed decision so that we can truly cherish our coveted possession.
To move on with beautiful Tanchois, let's get to know a bit more about them...
Tanchoi weaving is an age-old craft brought to India from China by 3 Parsi brothers in 19th century to Gujarat. The weavers once trained in the technique adapted it later to suit Indian style. In the 1940s, Banaras took over the technique and incorporated zari work into Tanchoi sarees, which has further evolved different varieties over the decades. The Tanchoi weaver initially wove sarees and yardage of use to Parsi women but as Banaras evolved the technique and introduced variety, it gained popularity and now as we all know, these are considered as special due to their complex weaving.
Tanchoi sarees are famed for their intricate and small weaving pattern over the fabric, involving a single or double warp with 2-5 colours on the weft which are often of the same shade on Silk fabric. This indeed is its unique feature and moreover its fabric texture background has a satin finish. An extra weft, as in brocade, is added to give the saree an appearance of it being embroidered. The motifs used are those of flowers, small birds in flight, peacock and parrot. Tanchoi sarees are not as heavy as other Banarasizari sarees as these are more universal, meant for all kinds of occasions, all age groups.
Banarasi Tanchoi has different varieties:
1. Satin Tanchoi – Here, the base fabric is Satin with warp in single colour and weft in 2 or more colours with extra weft for patterning.
2. Satin JariTanchoi – Here, the zari thread is used along with the silk thread in the weft.
3. Atlas or Gilt – it is a heavier silk, pure satin, full with zari making it shine more than others.
4. Mushabbar – Depicting nature and greenery, Mushabbar is scenic, like a net of bushes & branches, reflecting a jungle, the weave is that dense.
5. Jamavar - Weave is more dense, silk heavier, fulljaal woven like a net of jungle, big paisley pattern, especially an ambi with multiple colours in weft, bigger the motif and more the colours, the price goes up.
*Disclaimer: The article has been contributed by Seema Agarwal, Co-Founder, Artisan Saga. The opinions expressed in the article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and views appearing in this article do not reflect the views of Deccan Chronicle and Deccan Chronicle does not assume any liability and responsibility for the same.